Inspiration is fleeting. Brahms once raced wildly across a field to get home and write the notes of a new theme before it fled his mind completely.

Should a similar problem arise for you, you can use your phone as a note-taking device by dialing phone Reqall.comnumbers for either of two free services. Maybe hum a few bars. The two services, ReQall.com and Jott.com let your record your thoughts, even a simple to-do list, which can then be emailed, text messaged or read back when you call again.

Your notes can be sent to your cell phone by text message, if you wish, and you can set the time for the transmission. You might want to get reminders when you’re traveling. You can create a core list of repetitive tasks and just amend them as the dates change. Or send a phone message to a group of friends at once, to organize a get-together.

Both services use voice recognition to categorize your thoughts and lists. If you say “ask,” ReQall will put an item in your to-do list; say “buy” and they put an item in your shopping list. You can search any list by key word.

The free version of the Jott service includes ads. If these bother you, Jott has a $4 a month plan that lets you use the service without listening to ads. You get 15 seconds of recording time for each call. For $13 a month you get 30 seconds.












  1. I just have to mention that Bill Gates did not invent BASIC. It was created at Dartmouth and placed in the public domain. Bill Gates did create the first workable BASIC interpreter that ran on a personal computer.

  2. Egad, I even knew that, and had mentioned it in our column in past years. But in the rush of a deadline, I slipped a gear and forgot for the moment. Sorry. Really.